Telegraph Hiking Club: Taking on San Gorgonio

Telegraph was having enough of the Pineapple Express dumping on the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California so we decided we would try a winter ascent up Southern California’s tallest and most notorious mountain, San Gorgonio. At nearly 11,500’ Mt. San Gorgonio, also known as “Old Greyback”, is the tallest mountain in SoCal and part of The Three Saints, San Gorgonio, San Jacinto and Mount Baldy, three prominent Southern California ultra peaks over 10,000’. California has been getting dumped on my some epic weather and Southern California is NO exception. Snow fall has been as low as 5,000’ just outside Los Angeles making this trip a true Alpine adventure. 


The shortest way to the summit, and the most popular, is the Vivian Creek Trail.  This trail is 9.3 miles each way, with a brutal elevation gain of 5,422’. Not for the noob or faint of heart. The trailhead starts in Falls Recreation Area, past the town of Forest Falls, California.  An Adventure pass or National Interagency Pass is REQUIRED to park year round and can be obtained at the wilderness station or a local REI. Tickets are issued daily.  Free day use and camping permits are also required on ALL trails in the San Gorgonio Wilderness. Permits can be obtained at the Ranger Station in Mentone, 34701 Mill Creek Rd. You can also request via fax. Self issue permits may be at the trailhead but are often empty or stolen. Boooooooo.


The forest is managed by The San Gorgonio Wilderness Association which is a non-profit group dedicated to protecting the San Bernardino National Forest (Southern California), including the San Gorgonio Wilderness. They also serve the public visiting the forest with nature walks and,  guided programs and trail maintenance.  The services are maintained by donation and the time by nearly 200 volunteers. The goal of the National Forest and Wilderness areas and wish to help protect these precious resources for use by themselves and future generations.

To learn more visit and go check it out for yourselves and until next time… Take a Hike!

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